HP EliteBook 2540p review

HP's EliteBook 2540p ultraportable laptop has long battery life and lots of security features, but are these enough to justify its high price and last-generation processor? Tom Morgan finds out in our review.

The battery noticeably protrudes from the rear of the HP EliteBook 2540p

The battery protrudes from the rear of the EliteBook 2540p, but it's not too chunky.

As well as a responsive, albeit rather small touchpad, a separate touch stick recessed into the keyboard tray provides a second option for mouse control. Two sets of buttons provide the flexibility to use either input device, although they don't provide as much tactile feedback as we'd like.

Image quality from the 12.1in screen was slightly above average; the 1,280x800 resolution is sufficiently high for most tasks and images looked very sharp. Colours were mostly accurate although there was a slight imbalance towards the yellow end of the spectrum. Brightness was excellent, which should make it easier to use the system in direct sunlight. Vertical viewing angles are very limited, but that shouldn't be too much of a problem; the screen tilts back over 180 degrees. The matt finish also helps stop reflections from harsh office lighting obscuring the display.

Unsurprisingly for a top-end business machine, the EliteBook 2540p is laden with connectivity options. Two of the three USB2 ports are found at the back, along with the Gigabit Ethernet port and battery pack, which protrudes outwards slightly from the main chassis. The third USB port is on the left side, between the modem and DVD re-writer.

The right side holds four-pin FireWire 400, VGA, DisplayPort and port replicator connector, as well as an all-important Kensington security lock mount for when working on the move. Finally, an ExpressCard /34 slot sits above a SD memory card reader, so there's even room to add further connectivity at a later date.